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Guest column | Dr. Rao Musunuru

Don't complain if you don't vote

Elections are here again, the peak season for the blame game.

Republicans versus Democrats, liberals versus conservatives, incumbents versus newcomers, young versus old, male versus female and so on.

Roadsides cluttered with signs. Mail boxes filled with flyers. TV and radio blasting advertisements. Accusations and admirations, promises and persecutions, slogans and sore topics, endorsements and editorials, polls and predictions. Whiners and winners, ceremonies and celebrations.

People hoping for the best and settling for the worst. Promises forgotten, messages manipulated, changed leaders and chased dreams.

Low confidence and lower approval ratings.

The cycle starts all over again.

We the people consciously elected each of the leaders by majority vote from county level to the country's top. We take a lot of pride in our democracy and liberty. But then, why are we never happy with the elected officials? Why is there no trust or respect for most of them? What goes wrong each time?

You say you did not elect them? You did not have the time or interest to vote. So, what right do you have to complain? Your vote has the same value as anybody else's, irrespective of your finances, gender, color, race, or religion, as long as you are a citizen. You could have voted by mail.

Or, you believed what the candidate said and you could not have possibly thought that a person could lie so beautifully and convincingly. Excuse me, haven't you been voting for the same person or the same party forever?

You say you could do a better job yourself. I am sure you could. Why didn't you?

"Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber." The great Greek philosopher, Plato. said that circa 300-400 B.C.

What are you complaining about now? The politicians are dictated by their party ideology rather than what is really good for the people and the country. When was the last time you met a legislator and talked about the community (not personal) needs? How is an elected leader to know, if he or she is not made aware of the will of the people who they serve?

Like any other employee, the politicians like to have their job contract renewed. They have a lot of bosses. They must believe that they are doing what their constituents want. Are we communicating properly?

Whoever can rise and spend the most campaign money is most likely to win. Does that mean we are ignorant and ready to be bought? Do your part and it has to be more than complaining. Understand the issues and study the candidates. Vote for the right person for the right reason. You can start with early voting, which concludes Saturday, or go to the polls Tuesday, Election Day, to pick judges, school board members, a county commissioner and party nominees for other local and state offices.

We cannot demand rights and results without fulfilling our responsibilities. Vetting and voting is our minimum responsibility.

Dr. Rao Musunuru of Bayonet Point is a practicing cardiologist in Pasco and Hernando counties.

Don't complain if you don't vote 08/21/14 [Last modified: Thursday, August 21, 2014 10:23am]
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